It’s a big one… a decisive one… for both clubs… But for us, it’s a last chance saloon in what seems to be a collapse of any premier league ambition. For Arsenal, a club that has never finished outside the top four, and having lost our last two games in the league, it’s a very big possibility this season. Failure to win against Man United tomorrow will see us 7 points behind 4th placed Chelsea a potentially a whopping 13 points behind 3rd placed Sp*rs. No matter how many injuries we have encountered, the points tally is simply not good enough.
Arsene last week singled out the individual mistakes, the lack of focus in matches as a reason why we lost the games we lost. When it’s the manager himself who buys the players and trains them, then where does the buck stop? Is Benayoun as a holding midfielder ever going to do what Wilshere or Arteta can? Decisions this season have been strange, to say the least. Decisions in formation, decisions in the transfer market and decisions on the pitch.
Arsene spoke on on Friday and said a lot, but one thing I’d like to bring to your attention is this one line:
“If the players come back, we are strong enough [to make the top four]. If we do not have the players back we will struggle.”
Now that is a line that I’d have to disagree with. With the likes of Nasri and Cesc last season, we we only good enough for 4th – with their departures and the points tally we have now, are we really good enough for 4th with the players we have. Yes, we have a big squad, but how many of them are quality players? How many of them can compare with the old school of Bergkamp, Pires, Vieira etc? How many of our team would get into Man City’s team?
If you recall your minds back to the Blackburn game – we had everyone in our whole squad available, with one exception, Jack Wilshere – and we lost that game 4-3. Whilst I don’t want to be a negative person, I find it hard to believe that the return of our missing players is suddenly going to put us onto the form required to claw back 10 to 13 points. With the other teams in the forms of their season, we will also need them to drop points, and a lot of points.
But in football, there is always a chance.
Whether or not, we live in a dream or not, there is always a chance that something will change, form will arrive, games will be won and points will be accrued.
If we do beat United, and Sp*rs lose or draw to Man City, if Norwich can hold Chelsea or cause them a shock, then suddenly the gap isn’t so big.
Arsene spoke about finishing outside of the top four and said:
“For me it would be [a disaster] because I want to play with the best,” he said. “We want to be in there, in the top four, and to play in the Champions League. Anything else would not be good enough.”
And when your manager says that, you feel that it is still a possibility, that it’s the target. Earlier in the week, we heard that various players would be missing – Vermaelen and Henry suffering calf strains, with Arteta suffering a groin strain. Well, we know Arteta is definitely out – but the good news I’m hearing is that Henry and Vermaelen will be back in the squad and both may start…
A potential line up could be:
Djourou – Mertersacker – Koscielny – Vermaelen
Song – Ramsey
Walcott – Rosicky – Henry
Personally, I’d prefer to see Oxlade start the game and keep Henry in reserve… but I’d definitely not start Arshavin or Benayoun – they’re both not the players we need to win this game… Now that I’ve said that, I bet you they both will start!
Our come back will start tomorrow.
It’s time to shake off the negative vibes and focus of the players we have at our disposal… a win tomorrow, and we will be back on track to our target…
Come on you Gooners…